New videos of humanist interest

Rachel Maddow’s production of “Hubris – Selling the Iraq War” (click)

Sheila Bair and Richard Wolff (on Moyers & Company) on problems and improvements of capitalism. (click)

Phil Zimbardo, social psychologist of the famous Stanford prison experiments, discusses what he has learned about the human continuum from evil to heroism. (click)

Noam Chomsky sees Obama as worse than Bush and Blair on the Israel/Palestine issue, (click)

The Brain Activity Map project.()

Two 2006 videos of Richard Dawkins arguing that religion is at the root of evils. (click)

Robert Elias reviews Peter Dreier’s “The 100 Greatest Americans of the 20th Century: ASocial Justice Hall of Fame.” Humanists should be reading and evaluating this list. (click)

New articles of humanist interest

Daniel Schultz evaluates the PBS program on the rise of the Nones. (click)

The overlooked demographic is the increase in Single Households, a change that will affect all aspects of culture. (click)

Dwight Garner reminds us of the groundbreaking stories of the late Chinua Achebe. (click)

Jonathan Kandell’s obituary of Chinua Achebe outlines his development and importance. (click)

Scott Timberg suggests that the decimation of the “creative class” (artists, writers, musicians, architects, those parts of the media, the fine arts, publishing, TV, and other fields) could be reversed by the revival of trade unions. (click)

A very productive UK skeptic. (click)

Andrew DiMaggio, dissatisfied with public treatments of the Iraq war, fashioned a probing questionnaire a year ago and sampled Illinois opinions. What he discovered was that objections to the war were widespread — and moral (rather than pragmatic). “Americans from what I’ve seen do seem happy to move on from the terrible, criminal affair that was the invasion and occupation of Iraq….When academics, journalists, pollsters, and politicians all join together to consciously ignore moral challenges to U.S. foreign policy, then it makes it difficult, if not impossible, to have a rational national dialogue on war.” (click)

Excerpts from Ronald Dworkin’s forthcoming (and posthumous) book. He seems to be distinguishing between science and values and arguing that a godless religion would have to assume the independent nature of values. We will need to see the whole book to see if we agree with his rejection of naturalism (which he equates with the position of Richard Dawkins). But he clearly seems to be separating values from both science and religion.(click)
Justin Barrett discusses ways that assumptions of agency affect humans from childhood in their believing in gods. (click)

New articles of humanist interest

London’s atheist church, now “The Sunday Assembly,” is growing and plans to go global. (click)

Jeffrey Toobin and Terry Gross discuss whether Justice O’Connor regrets her swing decision in Bush v. Gore. (click)

David Barash notes many parallels between evolutionist and existentialist thinking. (click)

Lewis Lapham reviews the many ways humans have viewed other animals, ending with the curious statement: “Whether attempted by men armed with test tubes or bulldozers, the conquest of nature is a fool’s errand.” If Lapham’s essay stimulates your thinking, spend some time with the range of interesting comments that set a good pattern for internet discourse. (click)

Social media are part of free speech, and will surely continue to expand. A recent rape case in a midsized town illustrates the complications. (click)

Dwight Garner praises Megan Marshall’s new book on Margaret Fuller, groundbreaking feminist scholar. (click)

New survey of Nones from UC Berkeley and Duke. (click)

Elizabeth Drescher on the new survey. (click)

PBS Religion & Ethics, 3/15/2013, revisits an earlier series on Nones. (click)

New articles of humanist interest

Hans Küng speculates on whether a “Vatican Spring” might occur in Roman Catholicism and lists some of the challenges. (click)

Bill Moyers interviews Zack Kopplin and Susan Jacoby, covering many church/state separation issues and stressing the need to feature Robert Ingersoll. (click)

.The current New Scientist focuses on “the self” with articles from a wide range of scholars (most require subscription for full reading). (click)

Matthew Hutson explores the types of thinking that sustain god-beliefs. (click)

E. O. Wilson contends that understanding humanity is too big a task to be left to the humanities. The extremely rare eusociality found in only about two dozen

species creates history and is also shaped by it. Wilson here defines and defends “multi-leveled selection.” (click)

Jennifer Hecht reviews Susan Jacoby’s new book on Robert Ingersoll. (click)

New articles of humanist interest

Heads meeting. The heads of several nonreligious organizations will hold their first annual meeting to explore shared strategies to involve the growing group on Nones. (click)
Seamus Perry reviews John Batchelors book on Tennyson. (click)
Alison Flood reviews Richard Seymours critique of Christopher Hitchens political turn to the right. (click)
Daniel Dennett on the “well-tempered mind.” (click)
Jared Diamond: Its irrational to be religious. (click)
Chris Hedges argues that liberalism is too cool in crises and we need Reinhold Niebuhrs “sublime madness.” (click)
Inaugural poet Richard Blancos story. (click)
Emily Esfahani Smith discusses a new study by positive psychology researchers that contrasts meaning and happiness. By implication, it derogates the Enlightenment use of the happiness term (see many of the comments). She also recalls Viktor Frankls use of “meaning.” Humanists will want to read and discuss the research. (click)
Emily Esfahani Smith describes research showing love to be a “micro.moment of positive resonance.” (click)
Story and pictures on Indias Maha Kumbh Mela. (click)
Are Nonbelievers the Last Minority to Face Discrimination? Read Michael Bonannos essay. (click)
Barna releases report on worldviews of Hispanic-Americans. (click)
Barna report on religious freedom shows how ambiguous the meanings of this term now are. (click)
Michael Kinsley reviews Lawrence Wrights book on Scientology. (click)
Large Canadian grant for research on “The Evolution of Religion and Morality,” headed by Edward Slingerland. (click)
Douglas Todd notes that Slingerland and many other group scholars are “atheists.” (click)
Richard Schiffman on Christianity and sexuality. (click)
Nearly 3-in-10 Americans believe that God plays a role in sports outcomes. (click)
AC Grayling writes about Frank Ramsey, genius who died at 26. (click)
Daniel Tutt reviews Christopher Watkins book on Continental atheism. (click)
Michael Serazio reminds us of Durkheims totems, and the obvious fact that sports are a widespread form of tribal religion. (click)
Gary Gutting describes “religious agnostics” who make reject knowledge claims of some religion while seeing that it nonetheless affords “understanding” of many things. (click)
John Horgan reviews Thomas Nagels new book somewhat critically, agreeing that claims of the current “theories of everything” are presently unwarranted. (click)
Austin Cline reviews the new book Raising Freethinkers: A Practical Guide for Parenting Beyond Belief. (click)

2012 Digests

These digests are in PDF format.  You can open any of the digests and use your pdf search function to search within the digest.